Giants’ focus on league campaign

With victory over the Fife Flyers at the SSE Arena the Belfast Giants have confirmed their place in the knock-out stages of the Challenge Cup and if the remaining games in the cup go their way, they should also be able to grab a top seed place.

Belfast Giants’ Jordan Boucher on target in last weekend’s Challenge Cup game. Pic by PressEye

It has been good to get the cup game under their belts early on explained forward Jordan Boucher as it now gives the Giants’ the opportunity to focus on their Elite League campaign.

Boucher admits that it has been great to get the Challenge Cup group stages out of the way.

“It was important to get the victory against Fife. We take every trophy very seriously. For us it is all the games are equal to another.

“It was nice to get those cup games out of the way early in the season as we can now focus on the Elite League campaign.

“We are using that cup campaign as an opportunity to build some momentum going forward, especially against the Sheffield Steelers and Glasgow.”

Reflecting on recent games he said: “It was great to get back-to-back games last weekend, both on the road and at home. We weren’t really happy with the weekend previously when we lost to Manchester.

“And then we weren’t overly satisfied with the win at home against Dundee. So, we put in a hard week of practice and focused on limiting our turnovers at the blueline.

“Things had to be fixed and we were delighted with the results in Nottingham. ”

Boucher believes the difficult game against the Stars at the SSE was a learning opportunity for the Giants.

He said: “From that sort of game is a chance to learn, to learn that every team is going to bring their best effort against us all season. We know we have a good team but still we should never take anyone lightly.”

Going into Nottingham the Giants were pretty fired up.

“We knew that Nottingham is a tough place to go play in. The new members of the squad had been told that their fans can get a little crazy sometimes and that helps to fire up the Panthers.

“But we wanted to go in there and make a statement of intent that would be heard around the league.”

Storm move to strengthen squad with Thompson

Manchester Storm have added to their quota of non-homegrown players with the signing of Tayler Thompson.

The Canadian forward has largely iced in the ECHL over the past three seasons, totalling 42 points in 124 games.

“Tayler arrives in Manchester eager to prove he can transition from North American hockey,” said head coach Ryan Finnerty.

He added: “He knows that the Elite League standard has continued to increase and sees this is a real opportunity to kickstart the European chapter of his career.”

Finnerty continued: “He plays a hard-nosed game; he will finish his checks and I feel like he could be another energy guy within our line-up.

“I am confident the fans will enjoy his style of play and his right-handed shot balances out our roster nicely.

“Tayler can play down the middle and on the wings, that kind of flexibility is something we have been looking to add and his consistent puck pressure will no doubt win the hearts of the Shelter’s faithful.”

The signing of Thompson takes the Storm to 14 non-homegrown players registered during 2021/22.

EIHL teams are allowed a maximum of 20 during this season.